In the Christian church, members aren’t sworn to secrecy. Plain and simple, if your ‘church’ asks you to sign something promising secrecy it only means that they have secrets to keep that could embarrass, and thereby impoverish, the ‘ministry’.
That’s what Mark Driscoll’s corporation does (because non disclosure agreements are perfectly sensible for corporations which need to retain corporate secrets). And that’s why, in spite of it calling itself a ‘Church’ it is not- rather it is simply a cult, with a controlling leader who, Jim Jones-esque, determines everything that happens within the ‘community’.
As Warren Throckmorton writes, in part,
On Tuesday, Warren Cole Smith posted a brief note at World Magazine about the policy of Mars Hill Church to require staff to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to maintain their severance pay and health insurance. And then on Friday, Smith posted a copy of an agreement given to him by a former Mars Hill staffer.
I also have a copy of an agreement given to me by former pastor Kyle Firstenberg. Firstenberg was executive pastor at Mars Hill Orange County until about a year and a half ago. You can read more about the situation in Orange County at Wenatchee the Hatchet’s blog.
Firstenberg also provided me with a letter he wrote to Mars Hill regarding his experience as a pastor in Orange County. Given what he is saying in his letter, I can understand why Mars Hill leaders want departing staff to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Often non-disclosure agreements are signed in the business/tech world to protect proprietary information from leaking out. In this case, the main reason appears to be to keep departing staff from candidly describing their bad experiences.
Reading the NDA, it appears to me that MHC leaders hope to use fear of legal action and loss of severance pay to keep former staff quiet.
The more we learn about Driscoll the less Christian he seems and the more cultish.